Poli’ahu, Hawaiian Snow Goddess of Mauna Kea
In Hawaiian mythology, Poli’ahu is the Snow Goddess of Mauna Kea, the greatest volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. In the Hawaiian language Poli’ahu means “caress”. The Snow Goddess Poli’ahu gently caresses the summit of Mauna Kea with her beautiful white cloak in the winter and adorns the mountain with her pink and gold cloak in the summer. Translated from the Hawaiian language Mauna Kea means “the White Mountain”.
In Hawaiian mythology, Poli’ahu is the Snow Goddess of Mauna Kea, the greatest volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. In the Hawaiian language Poli’ahu means “caress”. The Snow Goddess Poli’ahu gently caresses the summit of Mauna Kea with her beautiful white cloak in the winter and adorns the mountain with her pink and gold cloak in the summer. Translated from the Hawaiian language Mauna Kea means “the White Mountain”. The mountains of the island were always sacred to the Hawaiians, and Mauna Kea is the most sacred of all. In ancient times the law allowed only high-ranking tribal chiefs to visit its peak. The fascinating summit of the dormant volcano is at 13,803 feet the highest point in the State of Hawaii. Measured from its base on the ocean floor, it rises over 33,000 feet, making it the tallest mountain on earth. Mauna Kea last erupted about 4000 years ago. This majestic mountain is only about one million years old. In the past glaciers covered the summit of Mauna Kea. Glacial features and a few rock glaciers have remained on the summit until today.
Mauna Kea’s high altitude, dry environment, and stable airflow make it one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation. The world’s largest collection of international astronomical observatories is located on the summit of Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea also is home to many endangered plants and animals, including the Wëkiu bug, the Palila (a rare bird), and the Mauna Kea Silversword.
Lake Waiau, located on the summit platform of Mauna Kea, is one of the highest elevated lakes on the planet. Lake Waiau is a sacred site. Ancient Hawaiians believed that the Lake was a bottomless portal to the spirit world. Its water was considered pure water of the gods. According to Hawaiian beliefs, water captured in the piko (the center) is considered pure and sacred. The water of Lake Waiau is worshipped as the most sacred. In ancient time, a chief would throw the umbilical cord of their first son into the lake to reserve the place for the child's afterlife as a chief.
People believe in the immense powers of Lake Waiau up to this day and visit it to perform rituals or collect the water for good health.
In Hawaiian mythology Pele, the Hawaiian Fire Goddess and Poli’ahu, the Snow Goddess were said to have been fierce rivals. One well known Hawaiian legend tells the story of Poli’ahu winning a race against the Volcano goddess Pele at the Hawaiian sledding sport called “he’eholua”. Pele was so angry at being defeated that she threw streams of glowing lava at Poli’ahu who calmly brought down storms of snow and froze the molten rock into place. Pele surrendered and never again stepped onto Poli’ahu’s territory on Mauna Kea. The power of fire was pacified by Poli’ahu’s calmness.
The legend of the Hawaiian Snow Goddess inspired the creation of the miniature Hawaiian Menehune Doll Poli’ahu. Here is part of Poli’ahu’s, the Menehune Snow Goddess’ story:
Poli’ahu is named after the Hawaiian Snow Goddess who resides on the summit of Mauna Kea (White Mountain), the greatest volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Poli’ahu’s name means caress. Her serene, gentle Mana (spiritual energy) is like the caress of a soft, pure, white snow blanket. Poli’ahu possesses the strength of inner stillness.
Palila, the little yellow bird, is Poli’ahu’s aumakua (ancestral spirit) and her loyal companion. He is one of Hawaii’s native endangered birds who dwell on the summit of Mauna Kea.
Palila gently chirps sweet songs and secret messages in Poli’ahu’s ear, guiding her even deeper into her place of inner stillness. Entranced by the beautiful sounds Poli’ahu’s Menehune Ohana (family) joins her in the Hawaiian Ohia forest, rejoicing in the Mana (spiritual energy) of peace and happiness that surrounds them.
Connect with Poli’ahu’s Mana and learn how to be victorious over all of life’s challenges by caressing them with tenderness and stillness…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The beautiful, secluded mountains of Kau on the Big Island of Hawaii are my home. Creating Magical Hawaiian Menehunes is my passion. I was born and raised in Germany. Thirty years ago a coincidence caused me to move to Hawaii.
I am an artist, an educational assistant and a computer instructor at our local school. Living in Hawaii has been my greatest inspiration and led me to many wonderful things including the creation of Magical Hawaiian Menehunes.